Natividad Medical Center recently purchased a mechanical exoskeleton that helps people with spinal cord injuries and survivors of strokes to stand up and walk on their own. It even works for people whose legs are paralyzed. The FDA-approved model looks like a set of full-length braces, going all the way to the ankles from the waist. Controlled by a smartphone app, it uses hydraulics to mechanically propel you into a standing position, from which you can begin walking with the device’s assistance. “It’s amazing. It gives so much hope,” said Sudha Shorian, one of the physical therapists trained on the device.
Researchers have had success doing brain implants on those who are paralyzed. Brain activity is collected by sensors in the brain allowing a computer to convert the brain activity into a mouse click or zoom in on something on the computer screen. There are an estimated 500K people suffering from spinal-cord injuries or who have partial mobility due to suffering a stroke. And with COVID-19 causing some serious side effects even after an apparent recovery, new uses may be found for this type of surgery.